Wagner boss fumes that Russian brigade "fled" Bakhmut area, allowing Ukrainians to seize territory


Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, right, is seen here in a grab from a video released on May 9.
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, right, is seen here in a grab from a video released on May 9. (Concord Press Service/Reuters)

While Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has frequently poured scorn on Russia’s Defense Ministry and its leadership, he has not previously accused Russian units of running from battle and allowing Ukrainian forces to recapture territory.

But in another expletive-laden tirade released on the same day that the Kremlin commemorated victory over Nazi Germany, Prigozhin said one Russian brigade had abandoned its positions south of Bakhmut, leading to many casualties among his fighters.  

In comments Tuesday, Prigozhin said “one of the units of the Ministry of Defense fled from one of our flanks, abandoning their positions. They all fled and [laid] bare a front nearly 2 kilometers [1.25 miles] wide and 500 meters [1,640ft] deep.”

Prighozhin said that the “72nd brigade f***ed up three square kilometers (1.1 miles) today, on which I had about 500 people killed. Because it was a strategic bridgehead. They just ran the hell out of there.”

The 72nd Brigade (or Separate Motorized Regiment as it is sometimes called) is part of the Russian military’s Western Military District.

As for soldiers fleeing, Prigozhin said: "The fish rots from the head. A soldier leaves the trenches because it is not necessary to die [as] useless. A soldier may die, but a soldier should not die because of the utter stupidity of his leadership.”

Speaking to Russian media, Prigozhin reiterated that Wagner had planned to leave the area because its units had inadequate ammunition – a decision postponed when a promise was made that supplies would be sent by May 9, he said.

“During the day of May 8-9, 2023, the required amount of ammunition was not issued,” Prigozhin said.

Separately, a prominent Russian military blogger, Anastasiya Kashevarova, has reported a complete lack of communication in the Bakhmut area between Wagner and Russian regular forces (72nd Brigade.) 

She wrote on Telegram: “The 72nd has a ban on working with the ‘orchestra’ [Wagner] and Wagner is too proud.”

Often, she added, a brigade does not know who is on its right or left. “There is no single command that would be respected by all without exception, “ she added. “Complete disunity of the front…the enemy is using it.”

The Ukrainian military has confirmed that its forces have made gains south of Bakhmut – a dramatic turn of events in an area where gains and losses have usually been measured in several feet.

The Ukrainian Third Assault Brigade, which has advanced in the area, spoke of eliminating dozens of Russian soldiers, and released video showing its tanks, supported by infantry, overrunning Russian trenches.

Some background: In an explosive, expletive-laden rant last week, Prigozhin appeared in front of dozens of his dead soldiers and blamed Russia’s military leadership for “tens of thousands” of Wagner casualties.

In late April, he threatened to withdraw his troops from Bakhmut if Moscow didn’t provide more ammunition. Prigozhin later backtracked on his threat after receiving promises of more ammunition.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.